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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  June 12, 2014 1:00am-2:01am PDT

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thank you all. that is "all in" for this evening. >> good evening, chris. thanks very much have been my friends. and thanks to you at home for joining me this hour. i have to give you a fair warning, there's going to be standing during the show, which usually means there's some sort of technical disaster. but that's going to happen. all right, in 1945, at the end of world war ii, as the allies declared victory over the germans and over the japanese, there was almost no one on the planet who was more popular, more appreciated, than the british prime minister, winton churchill. victory in europe was may of 1945. churchill, knowing that both britain was in dire need of a general election, they hadn't had one in decade, in part because of the war, but also churchill knowing that he was basically revered as a god among men, as the prime minister who won the war for britain, winton churchill, right after v.e. day, 1945, called for a snap general election in britain.
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they don't have elections on a regular schedule, you have to decide when you're going to have one, and churchill looked around at the end of world war ii and says, yeah, now seems like a good idea to have one. this seems like a good time. take his popularity, right? take the thanks of a grateful nation and lock in the gains, politically, for himself and for his conservative party. victory in europe, v.e. day, was in may. the election that he called was held in july. and in that election, winston churchill got clobbered. it was amazing. churchill's conservative party lost 160 seats in parliament. churchill lost his job as prime minister. the labor party, instead, won a majority in parliament. clement atly was installed as a new prime minister, replacing churchill. it was the first time the labor party had ever gained a majority in the british parliament, and it happened right after the end of world war ii. you want to talk political shock. that was a political shock.
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in the united states, this is the picture in the political science dictionary next to the definition of political shocker. this happened just three years after churchill's debacle in 1945. this was 1948. deeply unpopular democratic incumbent, president harry truman. he was widely expected to lose as he ran for re-election. republican thomas dewey was definitely going to beat harry truman in 1948, and everybody knew it. the chicago daily tribune was famously so sure of it that they put it down in black and white with their dewey defeats truman headline. and, yes, that election, where dewey did not defeat truman, that was an incumbent president holding on to his seat, but it was an absolute shock. political science is sort of a fake science. i say this as a degree holder in the subject. but you can use empirical methods to graph political outcomes. to chart political importance. and i'm not sure this is totally
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going to work, but i do feel compelled. i feel like this is maybe the only way to make sense of what has really happened in american politics. we have tried things like this before on the show. in june 2011, you may remember that we built something called the post-president clinton modern american political sex scandal consequenceometer, where we graphed post-bill clinton political sex scandals on two axes. it was more creepy to less creepy, hi, mark sanford. the other axis was more prosecutable to less prosecutable. we've created this sort of chart. that was june 2011. before that, we also on this show once built a matrix of televangelist infidelity. where we broke down what can sometimes be a confusing subject. where it feels like all the televangelist infidelity goes together, so we broke it down. was there crying, was this not the first time, was it a church employee, was there a hooker, was there the hooker a guy, was there meth. did you make your wife be present at your tv apology?
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a rachel maddow viewer put the televangelist graph on a mug in case you ever need to be reminded. but as everyone in american press conference today searches for analogies to try to convey how big a deal it is that the next speaker of the house, the house majority leader, lost his seat in congress yesterday, in a primary defeat that nobody saw coming, i think it's helpful, again, to try to break this down a little bit. i mean, we're always talking about shocks in politics, right? shox and surprises and upsets, earthquakes in politics. i think that, by nature, is because pundits are prone to high personry. in order to really understand whether or not this is as big a deal as everybody says, i think it's worth breaking it down, which i'm sorry to say i'm now going to do by standing up.
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okay, behold. modern u.s. political shockers, a chart. all right. this is a representative sample, what we're going to build here, is sort of a representative sample of large scale american -- large scale shocks in american politics that have happened over the past 30 years. 30 years ago, in 1994, the loser -- excuse me, 20 years ago. 1994, the house speaker was tom foley. tom foley, who was an incumbent, who was very important. he was speaker of the house. he was not, actually, turfed out by his own party. it was a general election defeat. also, it was not a blowout. he lost his seat in a race that wasn't that close, but it was a really big surprise. everybody knew the republicans in 1994 were going to do great, but nobody thought the speaker of the house was going to lose his own seat at home. and so, did the beltway lose its mind? yes, absolutely.
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the beltway lost its mind in 1994 when tom foley lost his seat when he was speaker of the house. did anybody cry? we don't know. benefit of the doubt, we're guessing that nobody cried. that same year in 1994, recognize this guy? new york state governor's race. mario cuomo was defending his throne, basically, and it did kind of feel like a throne in new york. not only did he seem like he was governor for life in new york state, but it felt like the only thing that might actually pry mario cuomo out of the office of governor of new york state in albany was is if he agreed to accept the democratic nomination for president. and everybody was pretty sure the democrats would be eager to hand him that nomination, even though he twice turned them down. turned them down in 1998, in '92, and in 1994, when he was running for election, mar quoe cuomo was one of the most recognizable, most powerful, most popular democrats in the whole country. and in 1994, at the height of his power, he lost to a guy that
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nobody had ever heard of, called george pataki. and that was a republican wave year in 1994. and this wasn't a federal election. this was just in new york state. so the beltway actually didn't lose its mind very much over mario cuomo, losing that election. so he doesn't get a check mark there, but that's mostly because the beltway was losing its mind about everything else that was happening in 1994. he gets some of those check marks, but not beltway losing its mind and i don't think anybody cried. four years later, this was a great one, 1998 in vermont, this was pat leahy's senate seat from vermont. but the big shocker here was in the republican primary for that seat. 1998, a guy named jack mcmullen was a zillionary who moved from massachusetts to vermont, expecting that basically his welcome gift for arriving in the state would be that he'd be handed the wide-open republican nomination in the senate race to
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run against democrat plait hooe. jack mcmull sn was a zillionaire, he was smooth, knew exactly what he was doing, and there was no one else in the republican field for senate. so it really seemed like he had very clear sailing for that race in 1998, until a man named fred tuttle came along. >> you need to say fred tuttle, very clearly. can you tell me your name? >> fred tuttle. >> you see, when you say it, it sounds like you're saying is fury turtle. fred tuttle. >> fred tuttle. fred tuttle! fred tuttle! fred tuttle! >> spread fred, fred tuttle, vermont dairy farmer, lived in vermont all of his life, expect for when he was serving his country in world war ii. fred tuttle basically charmed the pants off of vermont, running as a dairy farmer who loved his cows. running against this multi-millionaire guy from out of state, who thought the
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nomination should be his. in the republican senate primary in vermont, in 1998, good old fred tuttle won 55% of the vote. he sent the zillionaire guy packing. his spending limit was $16 that year. he promptly endorsed pat leahy, the democratic independent, who he was running against. on election night, senator leahy and fred tuttle had dinner together at fred tuttle's house. they reportedly shared milk and cookies together, and fred told all the reporters that actually he didn't even vote for himself, he voted for pat leahy and he hoped everyone else would too. so jack mcmullen was the zillionaire loser to fred tuttle, and that was not the world's most sequential shock, as reflected of the fact, there aren't many things checked off here. but, still, that was kind of amazing. six years later, it's 2004, senator thom dashel is the harry reid of his day. he's the majority leader for the
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democrats who control the united states senate. and in 2004, that's the night that george w. bush is re-elected of the united states, and that is the night that the senate majority leader loses his seat at home, to republican john thune, when took tom dashel's seat in the senate. tom dashel was an incumbent, he was very, very important, not only was he senate majority leader, he was widely considered to be a very viable democratic presidential contender. mr. dashel was not defeated by his own party, it was a general election, and it was not a blowout. it was a very close race. was it a surprise? absolutely, it was a surprise. did the beltway lose its mind? absolutely the beltway lost its mind. was there crying? not that we know of. that was 2004, the tom dashel race. 2010, there was a whole bunch of these shocks. starting in utah with bob bennett. >> the political atmosphere
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obviously has been toxic and it's very clear that some of the votes that i have cast have added to the toxic environment. i offer my congratulations, as i say, to whoever wins, but i assure him, he will not have anymore loyal, dedicated, or efficient staff than i've had. >> bob bennett was an incumbent republican senator. he'd been there for 18 years. he was not in the leadership, but he'd been there for 18 years. he was ousted by a challenger from his own party. and even though they didn't oust him in a statewide vote in a primary, they just ousted him at the convention, you can still reasonably say that they ousted him in a blowout, because not only did bob bennett not get picked by the republican convention in utah that year, they didn't pick him to defend his own seat. they didn't pick him, they picked this guy, mike lee, instead. but i should tell you, they picked another tea party person behind mike lee and ahead of bob bennett. he not only didn't get picked,
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but he got third behind the incumbent. was it a surprise? yes. did the beltway lose its mind? yes, definitely. was there crying? yes, sadly, there was crying. also in 2010, this one is remembered mostly for probably breaking the record on blowoutometer. bob ingles knew he was going to have a tough primary challenge in 2010, but i don't think anybody knew it was going to be so tough that bob ingles was going to lose by 42 points. it was that night he got 42 points in the primary and the person he was running against got more than that, the margin by which he lost his seat in the primary was a 42-point margin. boing. so this is not an exhaustive list of political surprises and shocks, right? even just in recent history, you
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could put richard mourdock beating dick lugar in indiana or 1998, jesse ventura randomly becoming the governor of minnesota before getting a conspiracy theory tv show. but as a representative sampling, i think this helps contextualize what makes a political shock actually shocking. and all of these aggravating factors, how much of a blowout was it, was it your own party that turfed you out, were you an important figure in washington, were you an incumbent? how much of a surprise was it? did the beltway lose its mind. how consequential was this for people other than yourself? all of these aggravating factors all add something, i think, to the impact of these political upsets. even the emotional impact of it, i think, aggravates it. and i think this helps explain, or at least show, why eric cantor, what happened to him yesterday, was such a big deal. not only does eric cantor meet all of the aggravating criteria, in terms of the size of the shock wave, everything except crying, although there were
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reports today of his staff crying, but i think we're going to leave them to that. in addition to him meeting all of the aggravating criteria, the magnitude to which he's meeting this criteria is something else. not only is eric cantor an incumbent, he's a seven-term incumbent. not only is he important in the house, he's the majority leader in the house and in line to become speaker of the house soon. a house majority leader has never before been defeated in a primary in our country ever. it was a huge surprise, right? literally, no one predicted that eric cantor might lose his seat. and the degree to which it has convulsed the beltway today just cannot be overstated. capitol hill is a whirlwind. and it is deserved. because this is that big of a shock. what happened last night in virginia is the biggest electoral political shock of at least a generation. but here's the thing about a shock. a shock, by definition, is the kind of thing that knocks you offkilter, that makes you not think straight or see things clearly.
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and as the country and the political world was being hit with this shock wave about eric cantor last night, the initial explanatory narrative that sprung up to answer the obvious question, oh, my god, what just happened? the initial explanatory narrative seems to have been bluntly wrong. that's why i think it's important to recognize that this was a really big shock. it's easy to get things wrong when you are shocked and confused. but now that we've had a day to actually look at and assess what happened, it seems like the initial explanation that everybody gave last night for why this happened, it just doesn't make sense. the rush to judgment that everybody made last night and in this morning's papers, explaining what happened in virginia, i think it was an easy mistake to make, because the candidate who beat eric cantor in virginia last night, he did run a one-issue campaign against him. david brat's whole campaign against eric cantor was focused on immigration. that eric cantor wasn't tough enough on immigrants. now, this wasn't a very closely watched race, right? nobody anticipated that this was going to be something that
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changed the course of modern american politics in a huge way. most of the national press, if they knew anything at all about dave brat versus eric cantor, the only thing they knew was that dave brat was running a campaign based on opposing immigration. so, right, the result, when it came in, the one thing that everybody knew about the race, people just decided, oh, okay, that must be what explains what happened. that must explain it. dave brat, the only thing we know about him that he was running on immigration. must be that it was immigration. must be that dave brat struck a chord with the residents of that district by being so anti-immigration. that district must be very anti-immigration. if only eric cantor was himself more anti-immigration, then he would have held on to his seat. that's how this race last night had been explained for the last 24 hours. but it is plainly and obviously not true. this polling was done by ppp in eric cantor's district in the seventh district of virginia yesterday, on primary day.
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it was a strongly republican sample, only 21% of the people they talked to were democrats, 49% of the people they talked to were republicans. and in this poll, they asked specifically about support for immigration reform. they asked the question in three different ways. they described the senate immigration bill, they described it as bipartisan immigration reform legislation, being debated in washington. then they asked if people liked it. and in eric cantor's district, the number of respondents who strongly support or somewhat support that immigration reform proposal, which is basically the senate plan, the number who strongly or somewhat support it is 72%. the number of people who somewhat or strongly oppose it is only 23%. it's 3-1. they asked it in a different way. they asked it actually in slightly harsher terms. in more draconian, less friendly to immigrants version of immigration reform. that one also supported by huge majorities in eric cantor's district. and in eric cantor's district, the percentage of people who support that immigration reform, 64% strongly or somewhat support.
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people strongly or somewhat opposed to it? 32%. 2-1. and then this blunt question to eric cantor's district, how important is it that the u.s. fix its immigration system this year? the number of people in eric cantor's district who say it's somewhat or very important that we fix the immigration system this year, 84%. only 14% said it's not too important or not important at all. eric cantor's district did not vote against him because they hate immigration reform so much. turns out, when you ask them, they kind of love the idea of immigration reform. they love a whole bunch of different ideas about immigration reform. the more liberal the idea for immigration reform, in fact, the more they seem to like it. and by huge numbers. and yes, this is public policy polling, which is a democratic leaning firm, but this does not appear to be an outlier. last year, ppp and another group called harper, which is a republican firm, they also polled virginia as a state on the overall issue of supporting immigration reform in the state
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of virginia. and they found very similar numbers. again, they asked about two different versions of immigration reform and the support number in virginia, the support numbers were 2-1, 3-1 in favor. 60% of virginians said they'd be more likely to vote for an elected official that supports immigration reform. only 23% said the they'd be less likely. so how do you make sense of these numbers? contrary to all the beltway norms, all the initial shock punditry last night, this does not appear to have been a frenzy of anti-immigration sentiment in eric cantor's home state and home district that drove what happened last night. yes, immigration is what david brat ran on, but the polling says there's nothing magic about the issue of immigration that allowed him to win that seat. maybe david brat could have run a one-issue campaign on the debt ceiling or the need for term limits or some spending issue or any other issue where he might have been able to come up with language to put eric cantor on the defensive.
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maybe, i mean, if we're going to pick a magic decoder ring for understanding last night's results, it really can't be immigration. and maybe this is a imagine tick decoder ring, because this in eric cantor's home district, from the latest polling conducted yesterday, this is eric cantor's home district approval rating. do you approve or disapprove of the job that representative eric cantor is doing? approve, 30%. 30. disapprove, 63%. with numbers that bad, there's no reason to think it had to be immigration, particularly because the immigration numbers suggest that it wasn't. i mean, anything where you can stake a claim and say, i'm not eric cantor, it kind of looks like, i'm not eric cantor was going to win, even if i'm not eric cantor had no money, no outside support, and he couldn't articulate answers to the most basic policy questions, as dave brat proved himself in his disastrous first round of television interviews today. i mean, in context, eric cantor losing his seat and losing it this way, it is a huge american
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political shock. and maybe it is the fact that it was so shocking that explains why the prevailing initial explanation of why it happened actually makes no sense. and here. but what about here? [ female announcer ] neutrogena® visibly even daily moisturizer with a clinically proven soy complex. it diminishes the look of dark spots in 4 short weeks. and just like that your skin will look radiant and more even. even from here. [ female announcer ] visibly even moisturizer and new bb cream. from neutrogena®. woman: what do you mean, homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods? [ heart rate increases ] man: a few inches of water caused all this? [ heart rate increases ] woman #2: but i don't even live near the water.
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i made a mistake, sorry. in our chart of modern u.s. political shockers, i just said that tom dashel was senate majority leader when he lost his seat in 2004. in fact, he was senate minority leader. i'm sorry i didn't even notice i said it wrong, but i said it wrong. minority leader, not majority leader. i'm very sorry. we'll be right back with frank rich.
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well, i will not be on the ballot in november. i will be a champion for conservatives across the nation who are dedicated to preserving liberty and providing opportunity. truly, what divides republicans pales in comparison to what divides us as conservatives from the left and their democratic party. >> house majority leader eric cantor saying today that what divides republicans from each other pales in comparison to anything else you might be thinking after he got primaried out of his seat by a tea party republican challenger last night. joining us now is frank rich, writer at large for "new york" magazine. mr. rich, it is a pleasure to see you. thank you for being here. >> great to see you. thanks for having me. >> what happened? it feels like it is not immigration that happened, because we've now seen the polling from his district and from virginia that suggests that there's nothing about the immigration issue, specifically,
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that could have motivated this big a political outcome. that's how i read it. >> well, i think there's a lot to be said for that. i think that the immigration issue may have been a loss leader in the sense that it got brat the attention of people like glenn beck, laura ingraham, mark levin and then they looked a to the whole package that fits the radical right of the republican party. he is an ian rand, conservative, he told chuck todd he isn't sure where he stood on the minimum wage, very anti-government, and also a right-wing populist. and that, i think, played very well against eric cantor, who that $5 million that he had spent on steakhouses or whatever, it came from wall street. it came from the elite part of the american economy that there's some point where there's a synergy between the american right and the american left. they don't like it. >> right. and something like 2% small donors among that $5 million he raised and spent on that race,
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which is phenomenal. >> someone was quoting today that eric cantor wears prada shoes with lifts. that's exactly the image you don't want if you're running against someone who is essentially a tea party republican. >> whether or not that's true, that's a heck of an epithet. >> i love it. >> it may explain why his epithets against his challenger, that he was a liberal college professor. >> hilarious. >> are there lessons to be learned here, not just within the republican party, but in terms of the way that all of us understand the d.c.s between the republican establishment, what's still happening in that party. you've been a real critic of the idea that the tea party is over or that the establishment somehow has reasserted its authority. >> it seems to be a liberal, and perhaps a republican establishment, that every time there's a defeat of a todd akin, a witch who's running, the tea party is dead and somehow, the
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establishment republicans have taken charge again. when mitch mcconnell won, that meant -- the narrative became again, they've -- the establishment has seized it back from these insurgents, but it's just not true. the right in the republican party, in the united states, as a whole, has kept coming back. when goldwater 50 years ago this year lost in landmark defeat to lyndon johnson, the whole republican party was thought to be dead and buried and certainly the conservative movement. but soon after, the reagan revolution began. so we have to stop falling for this same narrative. this group is here to stay. they may not ever run the country or win a national election, but they're a big factor and they're very much empowered now in the current gop. >> and i wonder if the error was watching to see if there was going to be a tea party revolution inside the right and it turns out there wasn't. there was a lot of people trying, and every time they
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failed, it seemed embarrassing and like it was over. we weren't looking at a revolution, it was an evolution, as the republican party turned into the modern iteration of the conservative movement's impact on the republican party, which is the republican party sort of becoming tea. >> that's right. mitch mcconnell, who opposed rand paul, when he ran in the republican primary for senate in kentucky, what did he do? he went and got rand paul's campaign manager. he buddied up with rand paul, he adopted his positions. that's what happened. you know, the -- i don't know what the term is, but it's like the host is being taken over by this -- whatever that bad analogy i'm making is. >> i know exactly what it is, and it's too gross to reiterate, exactly. but i know exactly what you mean, exactly. it is a way to win, which is to become the only option for the people who you've been trying to topple, let them survive by becoming you.
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frank rich, writer at large at "new york" magazine, such a fascinating turn in politics right now. thanks for being here. appreciate it. >> thank you. no matter what you might have heard, there was an election last night in which nobody got the most votes. we've got a lot ahead tonight, including a really good debunktion junction, please stay with us.
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while majority leader eric cantor held his big "i'm resigning" press conference on capitol hill today, on the other side of the rotunda, literally at the exact same time, the united states senate perhaps sensing that nobody was noticing
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what they were doing, the united states senate seized their moment out of the spotlight today to actually do something. this was the big bipartisan compromise bill to rye to reform the v.a., to open up more than two dozen new health facilities to serve veterans and to try to hire enough doctors and other professionals into the v.a. to actually meet the demand for veteran services instead of some company cooking the books to try to make it look like they were meeting veteran needs when they really weren't. senator bernie sanders of vermont shares veteran affairs and had introduced another version of this bill in february, the republicans filibustered it. but today the bill senator sanders worked out with john mccain, it not only got fastracked into a senate floor vote, it passed. it passed hugely, it passed 93-3. only three senators voted against it. the house voted unanimously, yesterday, on their own version of a v.a. bill. now that some kind of bill has passed both houses of congress, they're going to go into a
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conference committee to try to work out their differences and say this bill will be on the president's desk for his signature within days. you almost don't want to talk about it for fear that the spell will be broken and they'll go back never passing anything constructive about anything ever. but on this crisis at the v.a., congress actually appears to be doing something designed to fix the problems. everyone is voting to try to fix the problem. everyone. everyone except those three guys. who were the only no-votes in either house of congress. ron johnson from wisconsin, bob corker from tennessee, and jefferson beauregard sessions iii from alabama. congress is trying to get something done to try to help vets, despite these three men. congratulations, senators, you're going to be famous for this. i take prilosec otc each morning for my frequent heartburn.
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behold political rebranding, circa 2010. >> the new team is ready to bring america back. eric cantor, kevin mccarthy,
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paul ryan, joined by common sense conservative candidates from across the country. together, they are ready to make history. together, they are the young guns. innovative, energetic, forging new solutions. >> the young guns! it actually hurts my throat when we cover them too much, because i have to say it that way. young and brave and brash and republican. also, guns, right? that super hero buddy movie thing was designed to sell two things. obviously, a youngish new brand of republican party, that involves the word "guns," and also their book by the same name. and the young guns was just one of eric cantor's efforts to rebrand the republican party. more than any other single thing, what stands out in eric cantor's record in terms of his contribution to modern republican politics is how frequently he tried to relaunch them, to re-brand them, reintroduce them.
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but finding his side in power in washington, but not very beloved or exciting, eric cantor started doing this thing about once a year or so, where he would try to sculpt a new image for the party. so, yes, young guns, that was awesome. but that was just the 2010 version of eric cantor's new relaunched republican party. before that, he had launched something called the national council for a new america. that one was going to show how the republican party was tapping outside the beltway ideas for the republican policy agenda. the launch for that one, you might remember, it involved mr. cantor inviting the young, fresh faces of jeb bush and mr. romney for a celebration of outside the beltway ideas that was actually held at a pizza parlor that was literally inside the beltway, inside the perimeter highway that encompasses greater washington, d.c. and despite eric cantor's intention to hold a series of these informal chat and choose spitball fresh ideas sessions all across the country, in order to call new republican perspectives, i have to tell
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you, that first inside the beltway pizza party was the last thing they ever did. this is actually what's at the website now, which eric cantor set up for his national council for a new america. this website now hosts something called no deposit casino bonus. i do not recommend gambling there. after that rebranding effort fizzled out, there was the young guns. there was also another new rebranding idea, which was called the america speaking out project, because new republicans want to know what america thinks. that website at least still exists and won't rob you blind, but they haven't posted anything there since november 2011. better rebrand again. in 2013, after president obama won re-election, congressman cantor decided to rebrand republicanism again. he invented a new image for the party that he called making life work. the beltway media nicknamed it cantor 4.0. that project also included a pizza party, because america, it
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was during that round of eric cantor rebranding that the republican party -- eric cantor rebranding that he suggested maybe perhaps in some form, his party could accept something like the dream act for young immigrants. eric cantor said that could happen. and because he's the majority leader in the house, he could make that happen. but as always, this was rebranding, which is about brand and image and not actually about behavior. and so he never actually allowed a vote on the dream act or anything like it. he just stuck it in the rebrand and hoped people thought that he might have done something about it. then just a couple of months ago, because it was a new year, and that means a new republican image, courtesy of eric cantor, this past year, his new rebranding effort was labeled, an america that works, which did not work either at changing broad perceptions of the republican party, or changing at all the substantiative party actions of the party. nor did it serve to rebrand eric cantor himself as a man that might be desperate needed in washington.
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the history of eric cantor's time in republican leadership in washington is basically a marketing history. the one remarkable thing about his legacy, if you look at it with a cold eye, is just how frequently he announced he was defining a new brand for the republican party, while also not changing anything substantiative about what republicans were actually doing in washington. and changing what republicans actually do in washington, that is well within his power as the majority leader. he decides what gets voted on and what doesn't. but under his leadership, despite repeated attempts at looking new and fresh and awesome, what house republicans actually did was fecklessly repeal obamacare several dozen times and vote to restrict abortion rights as often as they could and otherwise lurch from self-made debt ceiling crisis to self-made funding crisis and back again. none of his yearly attempts at presenting political freshness was accompanied by any change in eric cantor's positions or in republican policy. eric cantor even as he kept relaunching what it means to be
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a republican, his own policy positions never moved an inch. and people can tell when you're saying one thing and doing another. and in the end, eric cantor's endless repackaging of the same old stuff, it couldn't be wrapped up in anything that anyone wanted to buy, even in his home district. joining us now, sam stein, political reporter for "huffington post." sam, thank you for being here. >> thank you for saying "young guns." >> young guns! >> i'm worried about your throat. >> tomorrow i'll sound like a smoker. i did not expect when going back through, i did a sort of historical retrench on eric cantor's record. i didn't expect to find the only consistent through line was this rebranding stuff. he obviously thought that was key to his success and his leadership in the party. what do you think the actual impact of that was. >> you missed one, you missed the cut and grow rebrand that they did -- >> was that you cut -- oh, no, there was you cut and cut and grow, two different ones. >> he was a constant schemer and it served him well. he was the heir apparent to john boehner, perhaps knocking
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boehner out of the way. but when you change that much, obviously, it becomes tough to define who exactly you are. and i think what it ended up also doing was painting him as this constant schemer and not a serious ideological conservative and i think that obviously hurt him on tuesday night. when he did put his efforts behind a piece of legislation, he showed it could work. a great story of his is that he actually devoted his time to pediatric cancer and research at mih. it was a bill that was going to go nowhere this last year. he put a lot of his efforts, his political efforts and political machinations behind the bill. he shepherded it through the house, got it past the senate, path the president's desk. when he wanted to legislate, he could do it. but that was never apparently his priority. it was always about branding. >> one of the issues about thinking -- one of the things about thinking about what happens in his wake, with him gone and him resigning as majority leader is who might step in. and the number three guy in leadership, kevin mccarthy, is sort of the case against him is he may not have that ability. that he may not have the sort of chops on the legislative floor to move stuff if they want to.
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it seems they move stuff so rarely, it shouldn't be that much of a mark against mccarthy. >> mccarthy is sort of like the same character as cantor, right? he has focused almost predominantly on this branding and how they can win seats in political battles. and very rarely do you associate a big piece of legislative or ideology with him. and he has had some pretty epic fails when it comes to counting votes. the establishment and party might say, we don't want to risk one of these other candidates, let's go with the safe bet, maybe we can relitigate in a year's time or so, but he has very similar problems to eric cantor. >> looking a head to the way the republicans shift as a group, obviously a decision about who's going to be in leadership. i think the idea that this is going to be immigration reform and him having the wrong position on immigration reform, to the extnt that he had one, i think it's belied by the numbers. if that gets sold as the
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narrative, do republicans actually miss out on a chance to move themselves in a way that actually might be more advantageous? >> yes, i'm with you. i don't think the numbers say it's immigration reform. first of all, i don't think it was a big topic in the campaign. it's being inflated as that. and you have lindsey graham way more associated immigration reform. >> brat did make it his issue. >> but in a very more nuanced way. he said, cantor supports many, reform, because his capital friends, his big bank friends, his crony capitalist friends want him to do and pointed to the chamber of commerce and pointed to mark zuckerberg of facebook and says he wants it so mark zuckerberg of facebook can get high-tech immigrants into this country to work for him and take american jobs. that was a little bit more nuanced than he wants pro-amnesty and stuff like that. i think people who are against immigration reform will use that, and i think the republican party will shy away from it. but i think they're drawing lessons from it. >> sam stein, political reporter for "huffington post," thanks for being here. >> young guns! >> young guns! can only be said that way. that's the rule.
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i'm just going to do it again. young guns! we'll be right back.
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today the senate voted for a big bill to fix the va. that bill soon on the way to the president. the secretary of the defense gave republican members of congress a big verbal smackdown for the way they have talked
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about the family of bowe bergdahl. today the majority leader of the house resigned because he lost his seat in congress. that news had a way of blocking out the news in the country. but did you hear what happened in the great state of nevada? some stories deserve not to be blocked out by even the biggest political story in america. and that one is next. stay with us. here you go. good catch! alright, now for the best part. ooh, let's get those in the bowl. these are way too good to waste, right? share what you love with who you love. kellogg's frosted flakes® they're g-r-r-reat!tm you know, the salesmanwhen comes over...r, and tells you, "okay, this is the price," and you're like. you know, you don't know if you're getting a good deal or not. that's what led up to us looking at and it shows you all the information... you need about what price you should be paying.
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>> last night, primaries were not just held in virginia, they were held in south carolina, maine, arkansas, north dakota and nevada. and in nevada the associated press was first to break the news that democrats picked their nominee to run against this guy,
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popular republican governor of nevada. this was the word from the associated press, that primary was run, was won by robert goodman. so says the ap. is that true or false? in nevada, robert goodman won the nevada democratic primary for governor last night. robert goodman won? true/false? false. technically. the second part of this headline is true. mr. goodman will be on the ballot, against governor sandoval. robert goodman did not win the primary. the winner of the democratic primary in nevada last night was actually the ballot line marked none of these candidates. see, up top there. nobody. nobody got 30% of the vote. mr. goodman trailed behind at 25%. this has happened before in nevada politics.
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always a line on the ballot for none of the guys. when that does happen there is no practical consequence. the living human, is allowed to win. everybody knows technically that guy lost to none of at buff. to be fair in this case, none of the above, ran a dirty campaign, lied all the time. credit where credit is due. robert goodman did not win the primary. [ buzzer ] nobody won the primary. mr. goodman still made the ballot. all right, next up in the eric cantor race, mr. cantor's paid pollster, the guy he paid to do polling, predicted cantor would win his primary last night and win in a landslide. is that true or false? may be the reason eric cantor didn't bother campaigning in his home district the morning of the primary and instead, held a fund raiser for lobbyists at a d.c. starbuck's. was the reason he was so cocky,
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his polling told him he would win and win big. true or false. [ bell dings ] >> reported in "the washington post," the pollster eric cantor hired to tell him how he was doing in virginia, his pollster told him he would beat david brat by 34 points. the republican polling for mclaughlin and associated told cantor he was on track to beat brat 62-28. of course that is not how it worked out. eric cantor not only didn't beat david brat by 34 points. he lost to him by 11 points t that said, consider that the same republican pollster in 2012 said that george allen, was going to win his senate race in virginia. he didn't. the same republican pollster said that richard mourdock, he was going to win his race in indiana. he didn't. the same republican pollster said that mitt romney would win colorado in the presidential race. he did not. the same republican pollster also said mitt romney would win virginia in the race.
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he did not. the same pollster said ed marky was neck and neck with gabriel gomez in massachusetts. the same pollster polled the rhode island race and said the white house was vulnerable to his republican challenger, shelton whitehouse won by 30 points. in october, the same republican pollster said a republican was within three points, shooting distance, of a congressional seat in new york. three points, the republican guy could definitely do it. so said john mclaughlin, republican pollster, extraed or their, look republicans within three points. actually the dude lost off to the democrat by 37 points. wow. yes, yes, it is true. [ bell dings ] eric cantor paid a republican pollster to tell him he would win by 34 points last night. given the truly remarkable record of that particular republican pollster it maybe should have been as no surprise, should have come as no surprise
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that the cantor campaign's expectations ended up being off by just shy of a gazillion percent once the returns came in. that does it for us tonight. see you've tomorrow night. first look is up next. good thursday morning everyone. right now on first look, target iraq, a new islamic militant organization in the region considered radical and dangerous may be causing the u.s. to consider military air strikes. gop in turmoil. house members jockey for power as many republicans worry about the same fate as that that defeated eric cantor. >> chuck hagel faced tough questions over the p.o.w. release. >> plus the new york rangers live to fight another day. >> a dice sy situation in texas and get ready for the world cup. good morning and thanks for


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